Although all personal injury cases are unique, most share one factor: Negligence. In most cases, the victim must prove the accused party acted negligently and that this negligence caused physical, emotional, and/or financial harm. This is easier to accomplish under certain circumstances than others. In some cases, it may require substantial evidence and expert testimony.
Consider these four types of driver negligence:
- Distracted driving
- Reckless driving
- Disobeying traffic laws
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is one of the country’s leading causes of car collisions. Even if drivers take their eyes off the road for only a few seconds, their inattention can cause a major collision and serious injuries. Distracted driving is likely massively underreported, even when it causes a crash.
Many people think of texting or talking on a cell phone as the only type of distraction. However, distractions affect every driver, even those who do not use a mobile phone while driving. Other distractions could include:
- Adjusting the car entertainment system
- Reading maps or using a GPS device
- Eating or drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Dealing with children or pets
- “Zoning out” and thinking of something else while driving
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Reckless or Aggressive Driving
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), reckless and aggressive driving covers a wide range of offenses. Almost any of them could constitute negligence if a crash occurs.
These may be supported by the crash report filed by police, witness statements, and other evidence. For example, if a driver was speeding or traveling in the wrong lane before causing a collision, the police report should reflect these facts. This could be critical evidence to support your claim or lawsuit. Be sure to get a copy of the report as soon as you can for your records.
Most acts of reckless or aggressive driving violate traffic laws. While a driver may be negligent and liable and not violate any laws, this is unusual. Most break traffic laws and may receive a citation based on their role in causing the crash.
Disobeying Traffic Laws
In the same way that driving recklessly or aggressively often violates traffic laws, carelessly disobeying traffic laws is its own specific form of negligence. Common actions include running stop signs and red traffic lights, illegal overtaking, and speeding.
In many cases, a police report will note this, and law enforcement may issue a citation. This could be essential in proving what happened and who acted negligently. Even a relatively minor traffic violation can lead to serious collisions and injuries, so it is important not to overlook any type of bad behavior behind the wheel when building your case.
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Drunk drivers are responsible for a significant percentage of serious car accidents. Drinking and using drugs while behind the wheel can affect your driving ability in several ways, including:
- Slowed reaction time
- Blurred vision
- Poor decision-making skills
- Lack of coordination
While drunk drivers often cause crashes, it may not be necessary to prove they were drinking or had more than the legal limit of alcohol in their system to hold them legally liable. While this will support your claim, you will also need to show their actions directly caused the crash, usually by violating a traffic law, driving recklessly, or engaging in other dangerous actions.
How an Attorney Can Prove Negligence and Liability in a Crash Claim
Even in cases when negligence seems obvious, a personal injury attorney’s counsel may prove invaluable. A lawyer can determine if filing an insurance claim or lawsuit is a smart idea in the first place.
They can handle the maze of paperwork that these cases involve. They also have access to investigators, experts, and medical professionals who could provide critical evidence in your case. When you work with an attorney, they will manage all aspects of building, filing, and negotiating your claim while you heal from your injuries.
An attorney will also offer an objective voice amid the anger, frustration, and stress that often accompany serious accidents. They will understand how to determine if settlement negotiation results are fair. If not, they have the litigation experience to take the case to trial. Personal injury attorneys generally work based on contingency fees. This means they will not receive payment unless they recover a financial award for you.
Speak with a Lawyer from Morris Bart, LLC, for Free Today
You can discuss your traffic accident, injuries, and legal options for free today with an attorney from the Morris Bart law firm. We provide complimentary case reviews for injured drivers and passengers in our service area. This includes Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. We will assess your case for free.
Call (800) 537-8185 now to talk to one of our attorneys.
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